Have you ever heard of a “Bump Key” or “Lock Bumping”? No one has, outside of the locksmith profession. Lock bumping is a technique used by locksmith professionals for many years. It is a common practice for a locksmith to bump your lock to gain entry when a key is not present. The locksmith would slide the correct bump key from his set into the matching lock cylinder. Every lock sold on the market today has a matching bump key or technically, it’s called a 999/rapping key. Every good locksmith will carry a set to match the most common locks sold.
What is lock bumping?
Here is basically how it works- you buy yourself a set of bump keys on eBay for about $8.00 to $20.00. Regardless of which one you bought, the technique is the same. You find the right bump key that matches the lock cylinder that you’re trying to open. The bump key consists of extra teeth or cuts on the top that runs along the same number of pins inside the lock cylinder. These extra notches will hold up the pins for a split second long enough to turn and open the lock. When inserting the right bump key, the outer part of the exposed key is bumped with a screwdriver or small hammer. With a little amount of force from the hammer, the inner pins are all pushed up in a line for a second long enough for the key to turn, thus opening the lock.
On eBay and Amazon, you can find a number of vendors selling sets of bump keys for very cheap prices. Criminals are taking advantage of this technique because of the easy access to purchase a set. Now criminals have the power to open virtually any lock sold at the local hardware store. Not only is it easy to do with practice but it leaves no trace of forced entry. You would never know if someone was in your home. With that being said, you can only imagine that it would be like a kid in a candy store for a career criminal. Another concern is that since there is no forced entry, some insurance companies will refuse to pay out on these claims. So it’s probably a good idea to read over your insurance policy, no need to get robbed twice.
How to prevent getting bumped.
Professional lock manufacturers like Medeco, Schlage, Miwa, Dorma, Assa, and Kaba all created their own version of bump-resistant or bump-proof locks. These are high- security cylinders, which are harder to pick or manipulate. Some manufacturers have implemented patented sidebar mechanisms and/or anti-bumping pins within their standard cylinders that also prevents getting bumped. Another anti-bumping technique is shallow drilling, which one or more of the pin stacks are drilled slightly shallower than the others. Thus, preventing the pins to line all up at the same time and not allowing the door to open.
Another option is installing a keyless door lock. These types of locks are becoming more and more popular. Moving out of only commercial use, the keypad door lock is gaining popularity with homeowners today. This type of lock possesses many security factors as it eliminates possibly losing your keys. It is anti-bump as well. All the major lock manufacturers have seen this rise in the residential sector that now there is a wide variety of keypad door locks to choose from. You are sure to find a style that fits your taste. If all else fails, get a guard dog.